3 Men Guilty Of School Hate Crime

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

 

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #132Bullying and racism need to stop. In my opinion, adults teach children to bully and be prejudice. We can’t change the past, but we can control the future. October is National Bullying Prevention Month; I’ll be sharing research on bullying cases each week in October.

Children can be relentlessly mean. Sadly, bullying happens to adults as well. Whether you’re a child or an adult, when you’re on the receiving end of bullying it’s hard to think logically about the fact that bullies bully because they have issues. Bullying and racism wounds cut deep. You may not see the damage, but it’s there.

BLOG POST #132: This week, I’m sharing research on three specific and connected criminal cases involving three men.

More Than A Prank

It was 2007. The community was engaged in a racially charged debate over busing a substantial number of black students, ages approximately 11-14 years, to a different junior high school to have a more diverse study body at the school.

One evening while next door to the school, three men, ages 21, 25, and 30, complained about the busing program. They believed the program was ruining the community and lowering the standards of the school.

They devised a plan to hang a dead raccoon, that one man happened to have in his truck, from the school’s flagpole to “scare the little [ethnic slur], kids.”

Targeting Innocent Children

The man who tied the knot chose to tie a noose because of the historical significance of a noose used for lynching black people. The two co-conspirators agree.

The men were also aware of the significance of a raccoon as a derogatory reference to blacks.

Before the staff could remove the vulgar display from in front of the school, one teacher estimated as many as 40 students saw the raccoon hanging by a noose.

After the incident, the sheriff’s office provided 24-hour security at the school until the school could install security cameras.

Hate Is Not A Defense

The three men were identified and arrested. All three pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime—intentionally attempting to intimidate and interfere with African-American students who were attending the junior high school.

The 25-year-old man was sentenced to eight months in prison. The 30-year-old man was sentenced to six months in prison. And the 21-year-old man to five months in prison. All three also received one year of supervised release that included a course on cultural diversity and sensitivity.

Racially-motivated intimidation and violence is contrary to the American ideal of freedom, and it is particularly deplorable when it targets children,” said the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ on this case: This case is ten years old, but I think those who are prejudice have the same twisted mindset today. I don’t get it, so I find myself tongue-tied on the subject. What I can say is this mentality makes me sick.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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